The Mom Olympics

There is a lot of competition between us moms. Am I caring enough? Do I speak in sweet enough tones to my children? Do I discipline the “right” way? Do I never EVER put convenience above hygiene or general cleanliness? Am I making activities educational enough? Oh, that other kid knows his ABCs at 18 months, should mine too? The list is endless. Add snarky looks from other moms who OBVIOUSLY do it better than me and other moms who could OBVIOUSLY learn so much from me and my mommy-skillz and my self-esteem is always tip-toeing on the wall between the confidence of Kanye West and George-Michael Bluth.

My vote is that we stop this arbitrary and objective competition and hold one that matters for realsies and can actually be scored (preferably by someone holding big white signs with numbers 1-10 on them).

Enter the Mom Olympics.

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We will have general areas of expertise with sub-events in each area. This is an Olympic year, after all. Let’s get in gear, Mama.

Hygiene

  •  Nail-cutting: Momletes would be judged on speed, overall precision, and ability to hold toddler still during event without clipping skin or using “scary mom voice.”
  • Diaper-changing: Momletes will be given a toddler with a dirty diaper who has been fed 3 pixie sticks and shown a light-up toy that is just out of reach and then evaluated on swiftness, ability to keep diaper pad clean, and least number of wet wipes used.
  • Bath-time: Momletes will be given two children ages two years apart to fully bathe while being scored on memory of and cleaning of all parts and crevices, creativity with bath toys, lack of actual or perceived soap-in-eyes, and least amount of body splashed.

Bedtime

  • Bedtime Story: Momletes will be judged on use of theatrical character voices, maintaining control of situation with tired, banshee children, and resistance to urge to suddenly shut the book mid-story and say “the end.”
  • Bedtime Ninja Crawl: Momletes will be given an only somewhat sleepy child and tasked with putting said child to bed, only to be asked by child to “lay down for a minute.” Momletes will then have to wait until child is asleep and then do her best stealthy escape without waking child up with movement, sound, light from outside of room, or annoying 6th sense of child.
  • Post-Bedtime Victory Dance: Momletes will be allowed to include a partner for this event, and will be scored on enthusiasm, overall choreography, creative inclusion of partner, with bonus points given if dance is continued all the way to the place where wine is kept.

Sickness

  • Nose-Sucking: Momletes will be evaluated on ability to hold down child while keeping his/her hands from swiping the bulb mid-suck and completing actual snot-extraction with only her two arms, and also instinctual knowledge of whether there is more gunk in child’s sinuses, paired with decision of whether or not it is worth it to retrieve said gunk or just call it a freaking day.
  • Comforting: Momletes  will be judged on use of soothing tones, creative use of unnecessary medical items (ie: bandaids) as a placebo effect to trick child, and resistance of using the phrase “suck it up” with over-dramatic children.
  • Immune System: Momletes will be scored on dodging of sneezes, coughs, and throw-up, remembering to take Vitamin C tablets (even though science has told us that this mostly does not work), and of course, sheer internal will to not get sick.

Communication and Media

  • Listening: Momletes will be paired with a 7-year-old who had an interesting day at school and then have to listen to the child turn a simple story into a 30-minute saga while being judged on head nodding, tracking sounds that make her seem interested, resistance to checking time or letting mind wander, and performance on detailed quiz at the end.
  • Deciphering Cries: Momletes will be played a series of cries, screams, and tantrums and tasked with deciding whether each one is a result of child letting go of a balloon or of breaking an actual bone.
  • Instagram: Momletes will be paired with a toddler who couldn’t care less about being photographed and then scored on ability to use creative lighting, difficult positions, and non-cooperative child to create the best photo shoot with the wittiest caption.

Being in Public

  • Grocery Store: Momletes will be given 3 children and an extensive shopping list and then evaluated on tantrum policing, control of situation on cereal and snack aisles, and will-power to not abandon cart and carry all children football-style to car.
  • Other Children: Momletes will be paired with a child in dire need of a nap and placed in a dentist office waiting room with badly behaved children whose mother is at the point of waving a white flag and doing nothing to control them. Momletes will then be judged on ability keep child from also turning into a monster and resistance to crazy-eyes.
  • Mall-Escape: Momletes will be placed in a crowded shopping mall and paired with a child who has been told “no” multiple times when he or she requested to purchase wildly unnecessary items. Momletes will then be scored on attempts to keep child’s spirits up, followed by ability to stop child from laying down in the middle of the mall while throwing a tantrum, and finally, discretion on best timing to airlift child and take situation to restroom or vehicle.

Playtime

  • Park: Momletes will be tasked with taking a child to the park and evaluated on ability to push child on swing with vague “correct” speed and height, coming up with new and convincing reasons why she cannot play tag beyond a quick 3-minute stint, and knowledge of when to put down phone and look attentive to child for the sake of other, judgy moms.
  • Arts and Crafts: Momletes will be given multiple children with varying personalities and tasked with casting their hands, putting together a gingerbread house, and supervising them playing with a bead set. Momletes will be judged on ability to pep-talk herself before activity begins, willingness to throw structure, order, and instructions out the window, and coming out of event without crazy-eyes or more than one child punished.
  • Make-Believe: Momletes will be scored on correct portrayal of character they barely remember from some children’s show, enthusiasm while being stabbed by fake sword, shot by fake gun, or otherwise slayed as a dragon, and ability to expertly repeat mildly decipherable line of dialog fed to her by child.

The award system will be tiered with:

Gold: Night in a hotel to yourself

Silver: Drinking an entire beverage while it is still hot

Bronze: Getting to pee alone

I really feel like this should be a thing. Can we get on this? 

What events am I missing? Lay ’em on me!

Love, Alex

So much to do and I’m doing this instead.

alex, bryan, new house

In the wise words of Jim Gaffigan, “you ever have so much to do that you just take a nap?” That’s where I’m at, you guys. My house looks like a tornado went through it, we’re going on vacation next week WITH A BABY FOR THE FIRST TIME, I’ve done zero packing or purchasing the necessary items to TAKE A BABY ON VACATION TO THE BEACH because even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t know where anything is in my house because it looks like a tornado went through it. We’ve come full circle. So now you can see why I am sitting at my bar on my laptop instead of doing I don’t know, anything productive. (Even if you can’t, please just nod and smile.)

I’m also slightly distracted by the fact that a very important conversation regarding that whole adoption thing is happening at some point today. If you’re the praying type, we could use it.

Speaking of the house. I’m still in that honeymoon phase where I get in bed every night and say to Bryan “I can’t believe we get to live here.” I want to stay this way. I really don’t want to get complacent and start thinking of this house as anything besides such a blessing that isn’t really mine, but is God’s to be used for His glory. So bring on the parties, bring on the small groups, bring on the bridal/baby/wedding showers, the guests, the students needing a place to crash, and on and on.

The next subject on my mind: vacation WITH A BABY. You guys. I’m kind of stressed about this, which I realize is ironic given the fact that it’s vacation. This is Grady’s first time outside of like a 100 mile radius and most definitely his first overnight trip besides to my parents’ house. And it’s the beach, and the ocean. I need your tips! What’s your best advice for babies at the beach? Especially babies at a beach I’ve never been to. Also, babies on long road trips? Bring it on, readers!

The Adoption Thing

So we broke the news to social media land last September that we are looking to rapidly expand our family. I wrote that we were opening up our home to adoption and foster care and that we were seeking two specific kids. I realize that it’s been way too long since I’ve given an update, and those of you that know me IRL have been asking about it and giving us so much support. We are so thankful!

adoption kids

I thought I’d give an update for those that aren’t in the know.

To start with, our home was opened (yaaaay!)! It took much longer than we had anticipated, but I think God knew what He was doing because this hormone-crazed mama would so not have been able to handle it. The second piece of news is not so great. We did not get those two kids. It is ultimately, probably, a blessing. It was decide that their current housing situation would become more permanent, and even though it is sad for us, stability is so great for waiting children.

Our reactions to this news were much different than we expected. I think somehow I saw the writing on the wall and subconsciously prepared myself. Bryan, on the other hand, was pretty heartbroken. Where I was ready to move on pretty quickly (part of which was probably a coping mechanism), Bryan was wanting to take a break and mourn a little longer. I think it was better that way. Even though it was so, so sad, seeing Bryan grieve the loss of kids he never knew reminded me that he is in this and wanting to love children that need it. It’s good to be shown that he’s not just ok with this plan of mine, but that it’s his plan too.

Our original intentions for this were to be a concurrent-planning foster care home, meaning that our home was open to foster kids, but that we are ready and willing to adopt if that became the plan for the child(ren). After these events and my not-so-speedy emotional recovery from having a baby pulled out of me, we decided to be adopt-only for a while, meaning that children who come into our home will already be terminated from their birth parents and on the road to a forever family.

Since all of these events, we have had a couple of calls about kids, and a disclosure meeting about one. We decided that that particular situation was not best for our home right now, and thus are still a 3-person-2-dog family. We have inquiries out on a few kids, however, and we continue to pray about them and hope for the best.

Oh! And we’re buying a house! It happened very quickly, and we move in 3 weeks, which is why I have been more MIA on the blogging. This type-A lady is trying her best to not get overwhelmed and stay organized as I pack and purge and plan (alliteration only somewhat intended).

AAAAAAAHHH wish us luck!

Love, Alex

One of These Days We Will Learn

Before and After

We have a wonderful groomer that we love and that adores our children dogs. The problem is, a lot of other people love them too and they are relatively well-priced, which means they book out like 2 weeks at least. So right around the time our prissy, bratty Bichon Frise’ starts looking like a swamp rat is when we get wise to the thought that maybe we should schedule her an appointment at the ol’ beauty salon.

This irresponsibility leads to another 2-3 weeks of Phoebe looking like a dirty ragamuffin (is that redundant?) and a corresponding few weeks after said appointment of people thinking we must have brought home a new dog. Because this beautiful creature couldn’t possibly the one that had grass stuck in her hair last week. In other news, both Jeckle-Phoebe and Hyde-Phoebe seem to eat poop, so there’s that.

Are we bad parents? Is this signifying how we will treat our human children? I hope not.

Love, Alex

PS: I think Bryan loves Phoebe and Mali more than he loves me sometimes, so our dogs are in no way mistreated. But srsly, that dog could do a rendition of Lady and the Tramp as a one-woman show.

So You’re Probably Wondering…

Remember that one time when I posted about how my emotions and feelings were going haywire and I wasn’t sure why? And how I took a pregnancy test and it was negative and I was all “THEN WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH ME?!?”

Well… It turns out my body was like “Psych! You actually are PREGNANT!”

Two for good measure :).

Two for good measure :).

 

As you’ve probably noticed, I kind of fell off the face of the earth when it comes to blogging. A better person than I could have handled it much more professionally, but as we stayed tight-lipped and quiet about the pregnancy, I felt like it was hard to find things to say about anything else. This is kind of a big deal, you know? I mean…just a tad… in my world anyway. I have always intended the purpose of this blog to be to share things I learn about God and life in general as I journey through my own, and this is what was going on in my life, so I didn’t know how to talk about stuff without discussing IT.

But now that we posted this pretty awesome (if I do say so myself) announcement yesterday, I can spew all of the things and all of the thoughts from all of the days I haven’t been blogging! Woo hoo!

Shout out to our good friends Arden and Matt Baltzell for the use of their adorable nursery for who is sure to be their adorable daughter Cambrie coming in July!

 

As of yesterday, I am 11 weeks along. Why did we post a little early, you ask? Well, because we had a bit of a scare last week. I genuinely feel like God was teaching me trust in and thankfulness to Him through all of this. I had been dealing with a lot of fear of miscarriage and other things that go wrong in pregnancies, so I was praying through some of that and asking that God would give me a peace about the life of our baby either way. RIGHT FREAKING AFTER THAT, I went to the bathroom to..you know..take a pee, and I found some blood which scared me to death. I handled things calmly, and by that I mean called Bryan, my mom, and the doctor’s office whilst freaking the eff out with tears pouring down my face.

Somewhere between calling the doctor, waiting for a nurse to call me back, and rushing to the clinic to make sure everything was ok, I did calm down a bit. And if you know me at all, you’d know that this is in no way shape or form because of me. I don’t do “calm” very well. I do “panic and get crap donevery, very well.

I prayed A TON for this baby on that day. I prayed that God would help me put my money where my mouth was and actually trust Him with the life of my child. I prayed that He would leave the baby with us, here on earth, but that I could be ok with it if not. And mostly I prayed that s/he was ok and healthy and wonderful and ALIVE.

Mad props to Parkhill clinic for being on the ball. The nurse told me at first that the earliest appointment they had available was later that afternoon, then for some reason…could be because she could tell that this mama-to-be would not do well that day unless I could get in sooner…who knows… she told me to just come and they would fit me in wherever they could.

I am among the women who are terrified to have male doctors all up in my junk, and guess who my doctor was? A dude. But y’all? I loved him. He was wonderful and reassuring and I wouldn’t have had it another way. He made sure we knew quickly that our baby was perfectly fine and healthy.

Check out those puffy eyes. So sexy.

Check out those puffy eyes. So sexy.

Wait, what was that? Behind us? OH RIGHT it’s the first photo of our precious child! (#LilFitt for the hashtag savvy crew.)

Hand and foot in there, y'all. HAND AND FOOT.

Hand and foot in there, y’all. HAND AND FOOT.

 

Alright so… Some FAQs:

1. Were we trying? No. We had planned on trying in a few months though, so it’s not as giant of a surprise as some other couples.

2. How am I feeling? Like a pile of crap. I was thrilled and glowy for like a week and then I was over being pregnant because “MORNING” SICKNESS (12 pm-bedtime in my case).

3. Will I become a mommy blogger? Again, the purpose of this blog is to share the life lessons I come across through my journey, and that usually means talking about what’s going on in my life. Just expect more of the same, probably. Same self-deprecation humor, same expressions, same terrible-quality photos, same endless pop-culture references.

4. Does this mean you guys will fall off the face of the earth and stop hanging out and doing stuff, even last-minute? Heck. No. Please don’t stop inviting us to do things. We have zero problem with non-family babysitters or leaving our child in the capable hands of others while we go to the movies or out to dinner. Plus, even if we were, we have like 700 family members in our close proximity and plan on using and abusing them for date nights, weekends away, and the like as much as they will let us.

5. Uhhh yeah? What about that #IWillBeThere campain? Well, much like all the songs Mark McGrath’s girlfriend used to sing and their favorite TV shows, that sucker is gone out the window for now. Pre-pregnancy Alex was all “When I get pregnant I’m totally going to work out and stay super-fit!” and then Present-day Alex is all like “Bleghhhegh!” (<– That’s the sound of throw-up, lovely right?) I really do hope I can work out some later on in pregnancy, but for now an occational walk feels like when Rocky ran to the top of the steps and pumped his fist like a true champion. Ask me about it early next year, but for now I’m thinking I will not meet my goal of Size 6 by July.

Most recent preggo pic: 10 weeks!

Most recent preggo pic: 10 weeks!

 

How cute is he? BABY DADDY!

Expect to hear from me more in the future, dear readers, now that my exciting news-cat is out of the bag!